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It was love at first sight

Autumn Kindelspire Archive

Autumn Kindelspire

Unbreakable

November 6th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

BROOKLYN, NY -

When I was four, a bottler rocket blew up in my face. When I was ten, I swan-dived into the street, knocking out a tooth and damaging the cartilage in my nose. Over the course of my life, I’ve fallen twenty-feet from a tree, had a rusty nail go through my sneaker and most of the way through my foot, and been in more car accidents than I can count. But, I’ve never once broken a bone, and I only have three noticeable scars on my body.

My friend Neil says I’m unbreakable.

“Like the Bruce Willis movie?”

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Autumn Kindelspire

I Don’t Want to be a Writer

October 19th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

NEW YORK, NY-

I always said I wanted to be a writer. (Actually, when I was very little I wanted to be a waitress at my favorite restaurant, Wags. But when Wags went out of business and was replaced by a Denny’s, my dream to serve pancakes and coffee to senior citizens was replaced, too.)

In fifth grade, I won a National Pride Award in Writing, and from then my destiny was set: I was going to be a famous author. By the time I reached high school, I was pretty sure I was going to be the next Stephen King. Or Margaret Atwood, or Faulkner, or Steinbeck, depending on what I was reading that week.

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Autumn Kindelspire

A Thousand Words: River Spirit

September 12th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

ALACHUA, FL -

We were at his family’s cabin, on the shore of the Santa Fe River. It was my favorite place in the world—the only place, as the months had dragged on and our marriage ground itself into ruin, that I was happy.

The day before our vacation, and marriage, ended, a river otter crawled onto our dock. Annie, our shepherd/chow mix, didn’t know what to make of the creature, but I knew what it was the minute I saw it. The otter was my omen.

My family, particularly my mom and me, have always believed animals are signs. Bald eagles, deer, and dolphins promised good things. Coyotes were warnings. A river otter, I felt certain, was a good omen. I’d be okay. I would survive the divorce.

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Autumn Kindelspire

Over the Rainbow

September 2nd, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

NEW YORK, NY-

“Butterfly in the sky / I can go twice as high”

While television was never favored in my childhood home, I do remember watching Reading Rainbow. Even after my reading level surpassed the books reviewed on the show, I always enjoyed watching. Reading Rainbow just had so many good things going for it. Notice how I’m speaking in past tense? Had. PBS is canceling the show.

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Autumn Kindelspire

What is Feminine?

June 6th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY –

“You’re at a party,” says Midori, strutting back and forth across the MoSex gift shop/lecture space, looking far less cabaret than she does on her website, but still tied up in a black corset and revealing blouse. She’s a small woman, but when she talks her voice is low and commanding. Makes sense, since she is here to teach all of us how to be dominant femmes. “You’re at a party, and she walks into the room. The epitome of ‘feminine.’ Who is she? What is she like?”

The class, mostly women, mostly dressed in Goth velvet with lethargic cleavage exposed, shout out words like, ’strength,’ and ‘power,’ and ‘desire.’ It’s really just as well that I don’t speak up, because my word is ‘weak.’
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Autumn Kindelspire

Girl in the Picture

May 23rd, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY -

The Best Picture of Me Ever Taken: I am sixteen, which means I’m not a redhead yet or sporting a pixie cut. Instead, my hair is shining blond and falls to the middle of my back. My face is smooth, unblemished by the plague of acne most of my friends endure. I’m seated on a little mound of Australian pine needles and sand. Whoever took the picture is standing over me. My arms are crossed in front, I’m wearing jeans and a black Nine Inch Nails shirt, and I have the perfect “get that thing the fuck away from me” expression on my face.

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Autumn Kindelspire

Rain, Rain, Go Away

April 21st, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY -
 
After all this, and I still can’t get out of bed when it rains. Two surgeries, a dozen MRIs, various pills, chiropractic work, and massage therapy, and still I know from the pounding in my head if the weather is about to turn.

It’s about pressure. And the fluid they left in my head.

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Autumn Kindelspire

God on the Street

March 17th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

NEW YORK, NY –
 
I used to walk past the same homeless man everyday on my way to work. While the odds are good there were other homeless men and women on that block, he was the only one I ever saw.
 
He looked just like Jesus Christ.
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Autumn Kindelspire

For Beulah Faye

February 22nd, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY-

I don’t know how old Beulah Faye was when she went to the orphanage – she must have been young, maybe four or five. She had a little brother with her; she told me she carried him around like a baby doll. Maybe they were orphaned, or maybe her parents simply couldn’t afford to care for their children anymore. Whatever the reason, Beulah Faye and her brother were in an orphanage together until one night, when Beulah Faye woke up and her brother was gone. He was a baby, and a boy. She was a square-headed little girl with a permanent scowl and Cherokee blood.

Beulah Faye never told me what her brother’s name was. She never told me what happened to her parents. She had locked away parts of her story too painful to remember, and now they’re lost forever. She died last week, of a massive heart attack, at 85.

She was my grandmother; she was not my grandmother.

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Autumn Kindelspire

Clear Heels are Not Glass Slippers

January 31st, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY -

Dear Mom & Dad,

Should you ever stumble across this article: it was all Grandpa’s fault. I swear. If he hadn’t taken me to the club, I never would have become a stripper.

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Autumn Kindelspire

Little Mouths

January 12th, 2009
by Autumn Kindelspire

HARRISON, NY -

Anna was just starting my manicure when she noticed my ragged cuticles. “You have accident?” she asked, and pointed to my hands.

What to say? That I pick and tear at the skin around my nails because I like the feeling just before it rips too far? That moment where something dry and dead that once was clinging to me is peeled away?

“Nervous habit.”

She accepted my answer and continued to shape my nails into things less resembling a zombie’s claws. It wasn’t until she began to knead the moisturizer into my arm that she saw the two scars on my forearm. Little mouths, puckered and sealed with white, scar tissue tape.

“An accident?” she asked.

Anna is Korean. Her family is originally from North Korea, and one day while giving me a manicure she matter-of-factly told me the story of her family’s escape to South Korea and then America. She drew a map of the country on a paper towel, then pointed to the places where her aunt, uncle and cousin each died. What could I tell her? That I used to cut myself because I was depressed?

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